I was at the movies on a rainy Saturday afternoon this week watching Illumination’s retelling of the story of The Grinch. I thought back to the happy baseball hot stove seasons that have made my winters that much merrier. Signing Roy Halliday is at the top of a list that includes Cliff Lee and Jim Thome. This year, it’s all about Harper and Machado, but for every one of those signings there comes with at least one disappointed team who missed out. This year, while we are the front runners to land one those players, there’s a spoiler lurking in the wings. A “Grinch” who, instead of Mt. Crumpit, lives in Chicago’s south side, trying to steal our Christmas.
Every fan down in Philly liked baseball a lot….
But the fans in Chicago’s South Side did not.
Their fans hated baseball! The whole baseball season.
Now please don’t ask why. No one quite knows the reason.
It could be their players were involved in 1919 World Series fixing.
It could be their management and players needed personnel remixing.
But I think the that the most likely reason of all
May have been that, in their own city, their fan base was too small.
Whatever the reason,
Their lack of fans or personnel ills,
They stood in the Winter Meetings hating the Phils.
Staring down from his office with a sour, south-side frown
Rick Hahn thought of the millions of Cubs fans populating his town.
For he knew every Phils fan in Philly out East
Was busy now, hanging their Bryce Harper wreath.
“And they’re printing their jerseys” he snarled with a sneer.
“Hot stove is upon us, it’s practically here!”
Then he growled, with his Grinch fingers nervously drumming,
“To Philly I must find a way to stop Bryce Harper from coming.”
Very soon, he knew…..
…All the Philly girls and boys
Would wake in their homes to an MLB alert they received on their phones.
And then! Oh the cheers! Oh the Cheers! Cheers! Cheers! Cheers!
Then the Phils fans in Philly would sit down and they’d post.
And they’d post! And they’d post!
And they’d BOAST!
They’d boast about Segura, McCutchen, Machado and Harper. The wins they’d receive.
This was something the White Sox couldn’t stand. They just had to leave.
Then they got an idea!
An awful idea!
GOT A WONDERFUL, AWFUL IDEA!
“I know just what to do!” Their GM laughed in his throat.
As he put on his Rolex and Brioni suit coat.
And he chuckled and clucked “What a great dirty trick!”
Then he went out for pizza that was three inches thick.
“All I need is support….”
The White Sox looked around.
But, since they’re irrelevant in Chicago there was none to be found.
No! Their GM simply said,
“If I can’t draft any talent, I’ll buy it instead.”
So he called his dog Buster to tweet out a leak
Let the Twitterverse know that it’s Harper we ALSO seek.
They emptied their coffers
Sighing “More would be nice.”
To this ramshackle team
They want to hitch up ol’ Bryce?
Then the Sox said “Let’s try it.”
And the jet started down
Toward the runway where Scott Boras
Lay a-snooze in his town.
In Philly it was dark. Quiet snow filled the air.
All the Phillies were dreaming of playoffs without care.
But now Harper has two major suitors. Is this even fair?
Is it possible after years of careful salary re-tweaking
To have the White Sox steal Christmas? Metaphorically speaking.
Would they slide down our chimney thought the concrete and brass?
That’s funny, I figured Citizen’s Bank Park used natural gas.
They’d pause only once to admire our World Series trophies of two
Before sticking their head out of the fireplace flue
Where our players’ lockers all stood in a row.
“This one,” they’d grin “reserved for Harper, will be the first one to go.”
They’d slither and slink, with a smile most unpleasant,
Around the whole park they’d take every present.
Trophies! Parades! All-Stars! MACHADO!
Enthusiasm! Sell outs! HARPER! Bravado!
Can they stuff all that into bags, and as the saying goes,
Swipe all those dreams from under John Middleton’s nose?
Who knows how this will all play out? We may get both of those guys, we may get one, we may lose out on everything and again look forward to a free agency that includes Mike Trout. What I do know, is that if the Chicago White Sox steal our Christmas, I’ll hold a grudge for a generation. Let’s just hope Bryce Harper is here soon to carve the roast beast.